Blog

Pain in the Archive: Know the Symptoms

by Achmad Chadran - Product Marketing Manager, Marketing

April 14, 2017

There’s an affliction infecting corporate counsels, compliance officers, and IT teams. It’s called Archivalgia or, more colloquially, “Pain in the Archive.”  Left unchecked, Archivalgia can do a world of damage. As with most diseases, recognizing the symptoms is crucial to treating the problem. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often mistaken for signs of other ailments. Here’s what to watch for:

 

ROI Vertigo

ROI Vertigo – the dizziness that occurs when costs overtake benefits – is both the hardest symptom to detect and the most damaging. Look for recurring costs that come with running archaic on-premises archiving platforms: frequent software upgrades, disruptive hardware refreshes, and painful storage expansions. Watch out for labor-intensive administration too. When the time spent maintaining your archiving solution eats into time you should be spending innovating or building competitive differentiation, seek professional help.

 

Poor Mobility

Mobility problems – usually caused by aging legacy platforms, but increasingly caused by poorly-designed cloud offerings – constrain workflows or reduce productivity. In today’s iPhone and Android-enabled business world, a mobile workforce is a healthy, productive workforce. Email is your organization’s lifeblood, the essence of insight, collaboration, and process efficiency. Anytime, anywhere access to email archives facilitates a healthy circulation of ideas and fewer tickets for your busy IT admins.

 

Search Sluggishness

Where productivity is concerned, search speed goes hand-in-hand with mobility. If you’re search administrators or your end users experience search times in hours or even days, more serious problems could soon follow. These include weak responses to legal challenges, compliance audit fatigue, and a rash of trouble tickets.

 

E-Discovery Dysfunction

Speaking of poor responses, it’s time we all got past the stigma of e-discovery dysfunction. While E-Discovery Dysfunction (EDD is nobody’s idea of a good time, neither is it a personal failing or evidence of a mid-career crisis. Aging archiving platforms often cause e-discovery searches to peter out under legal or compliance pressures. Thankfully, modern science can help. The right archiving platform – developed and optimized for the cloud – can restore youthful e-discovery vigor, and satisfy business partners both upstream and down.

 

Irritable Admin Syndrome

Also known as IAS, Irritable Admin Syndrome is the number one complaint among organizations suffering from Archivalgia. The trouble is that IAS can be caused by several different underlying ailments (including Persistent Irascible Temperament Ailment, or PITA). Given the rampant spread of Archivalgia, however, business health experts recommend that all organizations experiencing IAS review their archiving operations as soon as possible, to avoid permanent damage.

 

Obsolete architectures, resource silos, and development dead-ends are all leading causes of pain in the archive. Don’t hesitate to seek true cloud archiving relief should any of these symptoms arise.

Download The Changing Shape of Enterprise Information Archiving video, featuring Alan Dayley, a Research Director covering information governance, archiving, and storage management software at Gartner, as well as yours truly, the video looks at Enterprise Information Archiving, its past, and the factors shaping its future.

 

FILED IN

Creating a Cyber Resilient GDPR Strategy

by Mayur Pitamber - Product Marketing Manager

April 11, 2017

GDPR - An opportunity for positive change

Imagine for a moment that you are the “rockstar” IT director of a Top 100 firm. You’ve just presented your 2017 plan to the board for major IT initiatives, which include a plan to support General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. The presentation goes well, and you’re invited to stay and chat during the break.

Just as you’re about to walk to the coffee machine, a new board member comes up to you, thoughtfully sipping tea, saying: “Good presentation!” Before you can say thanks, she says: “You know, there are some things around GDPR which really worry me” - “What business value does GDPR offer us? With data in so many places, can we possibly get a quick win on GDPR risk mitigation? Is there a way to reduce the risk of data breaches for which we could be fined millions?”

As you listen attentively to the questions, your mind races as you think about the noise, alarm and scare-mongering of how organizations will be impacted by the GDPR. Phrases such as “fines of 20 million euro or 4% of global turnover”, and gloomy headlines like “Could new data protection rules mean the end of SMEs” have driven much of the concern and anxiety about the damage to a business’s reputation, impact on its share price or costs associated with GDPR. From her questions, it was clear that this new board member took these scare tactics to heart.

Embracing the GDPR…

Being the “rockstar” IT Director you respond enthusiastically saying the senior executives and the board have been proactive in supporting the preparation and response to the GDPR. You talk unreservedly about how the GDPR can help the company become more efficient in the way they manage, process and protect personal data. It could also help them use data more profitably for their own ends, allowing them to become more competitive. Especially, if the business is intent on ‘transforming’ for a digital data-driven age, GDPR can form the foundation of that effort.

Time is of the essence

You agree with the board member that the business does need a quick win for implementing appropriate security and data protection measures for personal and sensitive data, as 25th May 2018 is not too far off. However, you explain that the process can be complex and challenging given the huge amounts of personal data such as email addresses, names, phone numbers, credit card details, and other sensitive information that may be stored across multiple data repositories, either onsite or in the cloud.

GDPR Risk mitigation for Email – a quick win…

As the conversation progresses, more board members join the impromptu discussion around the coffee machine. You mention that you already have a plan for a “quick win” which will help in mitigating GDPR risk. You explain that almost every day we hear or read about losses of personal data, whether it’s a malicious attack or an accidental loss, or emails being compromised. You state a well-known fact that 91% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email – something which the board members find unpalatable.  This is when you mention that it’s no wonder one of the GDPR measures gaining traction with IT managers is implementing appropriate advanced email security protection.

Now all eyes are focussed on you, and being the IT rockstar that you are, you stress that the business should use GDPR as an opportunity to get a firmer grip on continually evolving email threats. You describe how easily it can be done by putting into place measures which include multi-layered threat protection to defend against spear-phishing, ransomware, impersonation and other targeted email attacks.

You enlighten the board further on the new rights for individuals, which limit the personal data organizations are able to collect and store under the GDPR. You clarify how the business can use powerful cloud based archives to provide rapid search capabilities to find, remove or transfer personal or sensitive data. You also make it clear that these solutions ensure uninterrupted access to live and historic email data in the event of a sudden email outage or planned downtime.

Like any “IT rockstar”, you end on a positive note commending the board on their awareness of GDPR and growing cyber security risks. The new board member should feel confident knowing that, at the very least her concerns around a cyber resilient GDPR strategy are being addressed.

Find out how Mimecast helps to simplify GDPR compliance by visiting the Mimecast GDPR for email resources page.

FILED IN

1992 Just Emailed; It Wants Its Archiving Architecture Back

by Achmad Chadran - Product Marketing Manager, Marketing

Is your archiving solution out of date?

Can we be honest? Most email archiving platforms in use today are obsolete. The way we use email today has completely changed, and these platforms no longer do what you need them to do. 

Archiving solutions need to preserve data and simplify search and e-discovery. Most archiving platforms use the familiar on-premises architecture based on software, server and storage. Like most on-premises architectures, there’s a disaster recovery layer, usually a backup-and-recovery platform.

This architecture was designed in the early 1990s. At the time, the World Wide Web was in its infancy. Payphones were everywhere. And email was a text-based store-and-forward messaging medium.

 

Today’s email is everything and everywhere

Fast-forward to 2017: what does the world look like now? First, email has far surpassed phone as the primary business communication medium. The average user sends and receives over 122 emails each day. Second: mobility. BYOD is our new normal. And third: 86% of workers recently surveyed say they use email to share files.

Email is a collaboration tool, a workflow tool, and a file management system.

You can probably see where I’m going with this, right? So many of us are vainly trying to force 2017 email into a 1990s archiving architecture. This makes archiving costly and labor-intensive. It requires constant software upgrades, hardware refreshes, and storage expansions.

What about search and e-discovery? These take forever, bogged down by the deluge of messages and attachments that this architecture never set out to address.

Mobility? Nope. Not in the original scope.

 

The remedy: true cloud archiving

Here’s what you need archive effectively in a today’s email-dominated business world: an independent, immutable cloud archive layer. One that leverages true cloud scale and cloud economy. With dedicated resources for threat scanning, applying retention policies, running search and e-discovery, and all the other specialized archiving functions.

Now what do you get? Excellent cost profile. Excellent search – average completion times under 2 seconds and a 7-second SLA. And mobility by design, with native apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Phone.

A secure, cloud-based archive that’s separate and independent from production email.

What’s the bottom line? One of our customers, a large retailer, tells us they save $70K annually in TCO compared to their previous archiving platform, and 15% in the time they need for email maintenance. And – something you likely won’t hear about from other archiving solutions – a law firm reports a 66% improvement in end-user productivity. This firm requires all of its attorneys and support staff to run Mimecast on their desktops and their smartphones.

These are the reasons you need Mimecast archiving to properly manage email, the single most essential resource you rely upon.

The question remains: where are you in your archiving journey? Download your complimentr copy of the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving report.

FILED IN

This is a day of recognition that was started in 2001 by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

April 26th is World Intellectual Property Day.

Do we need a day to remind us how important Intellectual Property (IP) is?

Personally I think we do.

Sure we know about the value that we get from patenting our big ideas, from documenting and enforcing our workflows that give us the competitive edge we need. We know about the big ideas, the things that are easy to differentiate, the processes that clearly are our own and stand us apart from our competitors.

But is this knowing about our IP or is this simply protecting our key assets?

Let’s take a look at another day that is celebrated in many countries around the world, Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is a very old traditional holiday that celebrates motherhood and honours mothers. Rather than letting these two essential and everyday parts of our society languish in anonymity, we choose to bring them to the fore to recognise and cherish what mothers do for us, what motherhood means to us. Let’s face it, humanity has always had mothers and motherhood and will certainly continue without a day celebrating them. Mother’s Day is simply a way for us all to tell mothers everywhere that we recognise that while they are a common occurrence, motherhood is by no means a mundane part of our society.

So too with IP Day.

We keep secrets from one another and we brand our information as confidential. Every day we see ownership and confidentiality disclaimers. Our emails profess that all information belongs to our employers and those we receive belong to the sender’s employers. We have IP and privacy woven into the very fabric of our business society. Like mothers, IP is a core part of everyone’s lives - only we don’t generally choose to acknowledge anything but the biggest and brightest ideas.

The biggest single issue with IP is that most companies don’t actually know what knowledge they are sitting on.

Take email for example- it is a phenomenal source of knowledge. So much business communication use email, whose conversations provide a rich contextual background to any single piece of data it contains. Who sent it, what was said, what versions went where, when- the real context.

But the problem is that email is stored and archived in places where data goes to die. Ok, maybe not to die, but archives conjure up images of old musty shelving in the basement that is only ever accessed when there is some or other legal dispute that requires old information to be collected and brought back into the light. This is also true of vaults, places to lock information away, places that ensure no-one gets any value from your data for all time.

This is one of the big problems we're working to solve at Mimecast. Giving us your email is going to make it more useful, not less in the future.

Imagine if a little bit of awareness enlightened your staff and let them know that everything they do adds a little to the wealth of your company. Imagine if they recognized how valuable information actually is. Imagine the potential you would unlock if you could mine and analyse the data you have been storing for all these years.

So celebrate World IP Day in style, let your people know that while you may not have the analytics tools to automatically derive value from your unstructured data, you value the information they produce for you and would love to hear from them how best to surface more value. Information is there to be used, not stored in some dusty basement only to be called for in emergencies.

After all, you don't only bring your mother out once a year do you? She is there every day adding value to the lives of those around her.  Treat your information like you would your mother, let it thrive and add value to your life every day.

FILED IN